Kyle, Head Named as District Teachers of the Year

Molly Kyle, Amanda Head Announced as District Teachers of the Year
Teacher of the Year Finalists 2017

May 5, 2017 –Announced this morning at the Lamar Lively Teacher of the Year Breakfast, Elementary winner Molly Kyle and Secondary winner Amanda Head will go on to represent Amarillo ISD at the Region 16 Teacher of the Year event, held later this summer. The annual breakfast is sponsored by Education Credit Union.

These district Teachers of the Year are symbolic of the quality educators in the Amarillo community. With nearly 2,300 teachers employed by AISD, representing them all is of great honor. Kyle and Head have been awarded $500 from the Lamar Lively Fund at the Amarillo Area Foundation and $300 from the Amarillo Education Foundation. In addition, Southwest Airlines provided each winner with two round-trip tickets to anywhere the airline flies, and Amarillo Auto Clean provided each winner with one year of free car washes.

“Our district Teachers of the Year are shining examples of the caliber of teaching professionals in AISD who are dedicated to delivering quality instruction in a caring environment every day,” said Program Director for Community Partnerships Denise Blanchard.

Elementary Teacher of the Year Molly Kyle serves as the librarian for San Jacinto Elementary School. In addition to keeping up with a library, she often lends her expertise to other teachers on campus. When she’s not working with students or co-teaching a lesson, you may find her coaching chess, dictionary or storytelling, working on Battle of the Books or representing AISD on the Texas Bluebonnet Selection Committee.

Principal, Mike Manchee, says of her, “As the role of a librarian shifts from a keeper of knowledge and books to one of a facilitator of 21st Century skills, we celebrate the fact that we have one who recognizes this. She is firmly convinced and practices the belief that every student can and will be successful beyond high school based on their foundation in elementary.”

Secondary Teacher of the Year Amanda Head is the agricultural science teacher at Caprock High School. Student-centered learning is what you will find in Amanda’s classroom. She says, “With changes to classroom learning and class-developed expectations, students are now able to create their own learning opportunities.” They earn the privilege to work in the shop following a safety exam where they are required to make a 100 and are responsible for creating rules and consequences for each area.

Chad Huseman, principal at Caprock High School, describes Amanda’s impact by writing, “This teacher took over a fledgling agricultural program a few years ago and completely changed the outlook and participation for our school. She re-structured our program to better fit the needs of our students.”

Teacher of the Year Elementary Finalists:

  • Dalena Blacksten, First Grade Teacher at Belmar Elementary School
  • Christy Corder, Kindergarten – Fifth Grade Music Teacher at South Georgia Elementary School

Teacher of the Year Secondary Finalists:

  • Heather Downer, Special Education Math Teacher at Bowie 6th Grade Campus
  • Kay Sherwood, Latin Teacher at Amarillo High School

Campus teachers of the year were accompanied by their school administration to the breakfast. Each teacher recognized received a glass award and poster symbolic of their accomplishment at the campus level. All campus teachers of the year received a free car wash from Amarillo Auto Clean; finalists received a month of free car washes.

The Region 16 Teachers of the Year will be named and all semi-finalists will be recognized at the 2017 Fall Kickoff on August 10 at the Amarillo Civic Center.

Fall Kickoff -


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